— The Daily Aztec (@TheDailyAztec) March 13, 2016
San Diego State failed to receive a berth in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on Sunday, ending its six-season streak.
Instead, the Aztecs will play in the National Invitation Tournament for the first time since 2009. San Diego State missed a chance to assure an NCAA tournament berth when they lost to Fresno State, 68-63, in the championship game of the Mountain West Conference tournament Saturday in Las Vegas.
“As disappointed as we are and I am, I’m ten times more proud of who we are and what we’ve done and how we’ve done it. We had chances. We didn’t lose, we got beat. We fought. Fresno won the game. They made plays,” said head coach Steve Fisher to SDSU in a post-game interview.
“And they made big plays, they made hard plays, they made plays when it looked like they weren’t going to get a shot. And that’s what winning teams do, and they did that. You have to tip your hat to them and have the hurt be there because it’s important for us.”
According to the Daily Aztec, SDSU will now wait for announcements for the National Invitation Tournament, starting at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.
“We didn’t capitalize defensively. And we guarded and they made tough shots at the end of the buzzer”, said player Malik Pope to SDSU. “We played hard, they just got some nice shots at the end.”
The Mountain West regular-season conference champion, the Aztecs failed to receive an NCAA tournament at-large despite a 25-9 record.
The Aztecs have made five previous appearances in the NIT, including reaching the quarterfinals in 2009.
City News Service contributed to this article.
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